Many of the best intentioned initiatives meant to encourage fitness and health in the workplace are likely to fade and be forgotten as the latest HR fad unless your organization's leadership is willing to take a good look at the culture of wellness in your organization. That culture of wellness is nurtured by considering "why wellness," i.e. by reviewing and revising the policies and procedures that maintain healthy behaviors and, by extension, that result in better, healthier choices for your staff.
Almost all of us want to live healthier lives - about 97% of us according to Rachel. Of that number, 80% make some decision to change their behaviors in some way, but only 20% are able to sustain that behavior. How can we change that number?
Rachel suggests looking at several factors: your organization's values, priorities, and norms that accompany communication, eating and exercise. The benefits to the organization are borne out in fewer sick days, higher staff morale, better staff retention, and more interest in recruitment.
You don't need to wait until a committee meets to analyze these factors and recommend changes. An organizational leader can begin to change culture now in several ways:
-Recognize that one size does not fit all. Not everyone has the same issue or responds to the same program.
-Realize that change is not linear. There are stops and starts and, occasionally, some steps backward. Don't let that stop you.
-Think of wellness in positive terms, not in clinical terms. Meet people where they are and be positive about the changes they're willing to make.
-Lead by example. Take a walk break when you need a breather.
-Be predictable and consistent in your support of wellness.